HEC’S paid spe­cial at­ten­tion to higher ed­u­ca­tion in re­mote ar­eas

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

KARACHI:

The Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion (HEC) has paid spe­cial at­ten­tion to­wards in­creas­ing ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion in re­mote and far flung ar­eas of the coun­try. Within the last few years, out of to­tal 55 new univer­sity cam­puses, 31 have been es­tab­lished in ru­ral ar­eas through­out Pak­istan, an of­fi­cial of HEC said in a state­ment here on Sun­day. In Sindh, 179 devel­op­ment projects amount­ing to Rs 27.142 bil­lion have been ap­proved so far.

As per agreed share of Sindh in Na­tional Fi­nance Com­mis­sion (NFC) Award, Rs 9.7 bil­lion out of to­tal amount of Rs 43.9 bil­lion were re­leased within last five years, the state­ment pointed out. On the re­quest of HEC, the fed­eral quota pol­icy has been ap­plied over in­dige­nous and for­eign schol­ar­ship pro­grammes which would en­able and en­cour­age the youth from Sindh province to avail schol­ar­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties ex­clu­sively avail­able for them un­der fac­ulty devel­op­ment pro­grammes.

As many as 868 Ph.D. schol­ar­ships have been al­lo­cated for the fac­ulty mem­bers be­long­ing to var­i­ous higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions of the province.

This step would also en­able them to equip them­selves with lat­est knowl­edge and ex­per­tise at lead­ing univer­si­ties of aca­dem­i­cally ad­vanced coun­tries.

A to­tal of 571 stu­dents from Sindh have ben­e­fit­ted from the HEC-USAID Merit and Needs Based Schol­ar­ship Pro­gramme out of a to­tal of about 1,800 schol­ar­ships awarded to date. About 1,447 schol­ars and fac­ulty mem­bers from Sindh pre­sented their re­search work in lead­ing in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences abroad. Rs 164 mil­lion have been ap­proved in this re­gard so far, the state­ment added. It said that the HEC has funded to­tal num­ber of 183 con­fer­ences and sem­i­nars so far.

Com­ment­ing on HEC ini­tia­tives for Sindh province, Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Chair­per­son HEC, said that all the fed­eral units have ef­fec­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion in 17 mem­bers’ gov­ern­ing board of HEC and Na­tional Schol­ar­ship Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee- the main de­ci­sion mak­ing body.

For ef­fec­tive co­or­di­na­tion with pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments, HEC has its re­gional cen­tres at all the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tals, where a large num­ber of HEC ac­tiv­i­ties for the province take place as well as bring HEC to the doorsteps in the prov­inces, he added. Laghari said that through the Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, which com­prises of all pro­vin­cial sec­re­taries of ed­u­ca­tion, HEC is closely work­ing with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments to evolve a joint strat­egy for pro­mo­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion in Pak­istan.

He in­formed that es­tab­lish­ment of Pak­istan’s first ever Date Palm Re­search In­sti­tute ( DPRI)/ Glass House, Her­bar­ium and Botan­i­cal Garden at Shah Ab­dul Latif Univer­sity Khair­pur, the USAID funded Cen­ter for Ad­vanced Stud­ies in Water Re­sources at Mehran Univer­sity of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy Jamshoro and Na­tional In­sti­tute of Liver and Gas­tro In­testi­nal Dis­eases at DOW Karachi are some of the ex­am­ples that how HEC is reach­ing out to the needs of the peo­ple of Sindh and try­ing to as­sist in this re­gard.

As an out­come of decade long use­ful ini­tia­tives, en­roll­ment at the univer­si­ties of Sindh have in­creased from 68,000 to 132,000. Laghari stressed upon the schol­ars and youth of all prov­inces to avail all HEC op­por­tu­ni­ties and play their piv­otal role for the devel­op­ment of their re­gion and the coun­try. He re­it­er­ated HEC’s com­mit­ment to­wards eq­ui­table ac­cess to higher ed­u­ca­tion es­pe­cially to marginalised seg­ments of the so­ci­ety.

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